Hyperinsulinemia Control and Obesity

Hyperinsulinemia -- the over secretion of the hormone insulin -- associates with a wide variety of dangerous diseases, such as: obesity, stroke, hypertension, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer.

So what's the relationship between high insulin levels and fat? And if we can show evidence that merely changing the concentration of serum insulin can change the metabolism of our fat tissue, what might that tell us?

The Caloric Balance Hypothesis says weight control boils down to calorie control. It predicts that non-dietary changes to our insulin levels should NOT change the amount of fat we accumulate in our fat tissue.

Our alternative theory, the Lipophilia Hypothesis, says that, since insulin regulates fat accumulation and mobilization, non-dietary changes to our insulin levels SHOULD effect changes in weight.

So what does the evidence tell us? Can we show that manipulation of insulin levels alone can change our fat tissue?

In fact, a phenomenal amount of supporting evidence abounds:

1. Hyperinsulinemia and insulin therapy can lead to weight gain, even absent changes in diet/exercise.

2. Fat nodules can form at the sites of insulin injections.

3. Drugs like Metformin that control insulin seem to be able to cause weight loss and lower risk for the diseases that typically associate with obesity.

4. The biochemical mechanism by which insulin alone can cause new fat to be formed -- e.g. "lipogenesis" -- has not been refuted.

5. Tons more evidence shows that insulin regulates fat accumulation (see here and here).

In short, when you look at the science behind fat metabolism and hyperinsulinemia, it seems overwhelmingly clear that insulin plays a crucial role in weight maintenance.

And, amazingly, this idea that insulin regulates fat is neither new - nor is it controversial!

But we've all been so caught up in this paradigm of "calories count" and "a calorie is a calorie" that we've collectively neglected to pay attention to the actual science governing what goes on in our fat tissue.

If carbohydrates drive us to secrete insulin, and if insulin controls our fat deposits, then the carbohydrates in our diets -- not the calories -- should be our primary suspects regarding what causes obesity and overweight.

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